In BC’s mountain towns, winter is a season to be embraced and celebrated. Locals and visitors alike take part in winter carnivals, food- and drink-focused events, music festivals, and displays of athleticism and skill.
Here are some events not to be missed in BC this winter season.
January 13-22, 2017
What: See Sun Peaks transformed into an outdoor wine experience as you stroll from venue to venue, wine glass in hand, along pedestrian-only village streets. Indulge in wine and food pairings, winemaker presentations, and progressive tastings over 10 grape-fueled days. An incredible way to experience an Okanagan winter.
January 22-29, 2017
What: One of North America’s biggest gay and lesbian ski weeks, Whistler Pride packs skiing, après ski social events, comedy nights and themed parties into eight days of festival fun. Watch (or join in) as skiers and snowboarders descend, flags waving, into Whistler Village as part of a unique pride march. 2017 marks the event’s 25th year.
March 3-5, 2017
What: The biggest party in Fernie includes hockey tournaments, lumberjack shows, fireworks, parades and street parties. The Dummy Downhill, held at Fernie Alpine Resort, is the local favourite. Watch competitors build dummies, strap them to skies and launch them off gigantic ski jumps. That’s some good ol’ Canadian fun.
March 17-19, 2017
What: New at Panorama Mountain Resort this year is its first-ever alpine music festival. The event will feature some of Canada’s best independent artists, including legendary blues man Jim Byrnes. The festival will kick off a series of spring events at Panorama, so check their calendar for more.
April 6-10, 2017
What: One of Europe’s most popular mountain music festivals will hit Canada this year as more than 50 artists—ranging from live bands to world-renowned DJs—descend on Sun Peaks Resort for this inaugural event. You won’t want to miss an unforgettable four-day, four-night party.
April 7-16, 2017
What: Sport and culture collide over 10 days in April, when this legendary mountain community hosts a celebration of skiing, snowboarding, music, photography, art, film and comedy, all within an atmosphere of general revelry. The energy in the village is electric—you won’t want to miss it.
Vernon Winter Carnival: Not to be missed at this long-running event, held from February 3-12, 2017, is the spectacular hot air balloon fiesta.